Looking for technical information on shell carving

Anyone out there have information or a source they can point us to.
We are looking for specific tools and technique information on pre-power hand tool carving of shell and mother of pearl.

You can contact us through crafthaus or directly at john@2Roses.com

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I have worked with different shells for inlay work. I am not sure if you want to work only the surface, or get into more 3-D carving, but please wear a very good mask when creating dusk with shell. The dust is harmful to inhale and it sounds like you may be working on it for awhile.
Best,
Jim
Thanks Jim. We were in Dubai not too long ago and came across one of the most fantastic collections of carved shell objects we've ever seen. Most of the items were from the 16th and 17th centuries. The delicacy and intricacy of the carvings was stunning. As we have been carving shell for decades, this stopped us dead in our tracks, as we have never seen anything modern that would hold a candle to this work. This led us into an investigation of ancient shell carving techniques. Unfortunately, information on the subject (so far) has been very incomplete and difficult to find.
Hi,
I see. So I am thinking a research grant is in order..? There are still many cultures practicing arts we think lost. Chinese knot making was almost lost until Echo magazine tracked down an elderly lady and documented her techniques. Maybe you can locate an are where traditional techniques are still used (even if only for the tourist trade) and document the techniques while learned them for yourself. Even with the depressed economy, there are many overseas grants for preserving cultural traditions.

Good luck!
Jim
Hmmmm! Now you've got our gears really spinning. We would not have thought to go in the direction of a grant to study shell carving. There just might be some legs on that idea as we haven't found any information of any substance on the subject. Thank you for your perspective Jim.
Corliss & John

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